A Russian father and his three daughters are seeking asylum in Poland after he fled Sweden with them when they were placed in foster care with a Muslim family.
Denis Lisov’s daughters. 12-year-old Sofia, six-year-old Serafina, and four-year-old Alisa, were placed into the Swedish foster care system after his wife’s mental state had greatly deteriorated due to schizophrenia, with a court sending them to live with a Lebanese Muslim family in 2017.
Mr Lisov took exception to the fact that the girls, who are all Christian, were placed in a Muslim home, but also that they were taken 186 miles away from where he lived and he was only allowed to see them six hours a week, Polish broadcaster Polsat reports.
Earlier this week, Lisov and his daughters arrived in Warsaw and were taken into police care after it was found that the three girls had been reported as missing in Sweden.
Swedish authorities offered to take the girls back to Sweden but police did not release them. The next day, Lisov applied for asylum along with his daughters and Polish judge Żaneta Seliga-Kaczmarek ruled that the girls could stay in Poland with their father.
“The court can not issue minor children outside the territory of the Republic of Poland, where they entered under the care of their father,” the judge said.
“After hearing the minors and in the absence of a document confirming limitation of the rights of the father, the court decided that bearing in mind the broadly-understood well-being of minors, they should be left under the care of their father,” the judge added.
“Speaking to me, they indicated that they want to be with their dad, love their dad, and do not want to part with him,” she added.
Bartosz Lewandowski, the lawyer for Lisov and his family, slammed Swedish authorities after a man shouted something in Swedish to the girls before they gave their testimony to the judge. “This shows how the Swedish services manipulate children,” he said.
The case echoes a similar situation in the United Kingdom in which a five-year-old Christian girl was placed into care with an allegedly hardline Muslim family, despite protests from her family.
It was alleged that the girl was forced to remove her crucifix necklace and that Arabic, which she did not understand, was spoken around her frequently.